We have studied the reconstitution of the Golgi apparatus in vivo using an heterologous membrane transplant system. Endogenous glycopeptides of rat hepatic Golgi fragments were radiolabeled in vitro with [3H]sialic acid using detergent-free conditions. The Golgi fragments consisting of dispersed vesicles and tubules with intraluminal lipoprotein-like particles were then microinjected into Xenopus oocytes and their fate studied by light (LM) and electron microscope (EM) radioautography. 3 h after microinjection, radiolabel was observed by LM radioautography over yolk platelet-free cytoplasmic regions near the injection site. EM radioautography revealed label over Golgi stacked saccules containing the hepatic marker of intraluminal lipoprotein-like particles. At 14 h after injection, LM radioautographs revealed label in the superficial cortex of the oocytes between the yolk platelets and at the oocyte surface. EM radioautography identified the labeled structures as the stacked saccules of the Golgi apparatus, the oocyte cortical granules, and the plasmalemma, indicating that a proportion of microinjected material was transferred to the surface via the secretion pathway of the oocyte. The efficiency of transport was low, however, as biochemical studies failed to show extensive secretion of radiolabel into the extracellular medium by 14 h with approximately half the microinjected radiolabeled constituents degraded. Vinblastine (50 microM) administered to oocytes led to the formation of tubulin paracrystals. Although microinjected Golgi fragments were able to effect the formation of stacked saccules in vinblastine-treated oocytes, negligible transfer of heterologous material to the oocyte surface could be detected by radioautography. The data demonstrate that dispersed fragments of the rat liver Golgi complex (i.e., unstacked vesicles and tubules) reconstitute into stacked saccules when microinjected into Xenopus cytoplasm. After the formation of stacked saccules, reconstituted Golgi fragments transport constituents into a portion of the exocytic pathway of the host cell by a microtubule-regulated process.

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